January 6, 2023
By Brian Lonergan
Amid the growing fears of many Americans that their country is slowly disintegrating, a debate about whether or not the United States is being invaded is bubbling to the surface. At stake is something more than semantics: the future of the country as we know it may hang in the balance.
Ducey v. Moore, currently being litigated in an Arizona federal district court, a case that is testing states’ rights to defend themselves from invasion by Mexican drug- and human-smuggling cartels. In response to the well-documented influx of foreign nationals entering the country illegally, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey placed shipping containers along the state’s southern border to stem the flow. The federal government now claims that the shipping containers violate various federal regulations that it says apply to the Roosevelt Reservation area near the border, and seeks removal of the containers.
The case brings up the fundamental question of what constitutes an invasion. Anti-borders activists scoff at the application of the term at our border, as there are no formal armies involved. To them and others, “invasion” only applies to events like our boys from the Greatest Generation storming the beach at Normandy or Germany’s Operation Barbarossa into Russia.
But what is the goal of an invasion? If it is to penetrate, demoralize and destabilize a nation, then the current flow into the U.S. fits the definition. Cartel operatives at the border now come equipped with military-grade weapons and surveillance technology. The fentanyl and other illicit drugs they ferry across the border are the leading cause of death for Americans 18-45 years old.
Like a traditional invasion, this current iteration has a devastating effect on our nation’s treasure and other resources. Just since Joe Biden assumed the presidency, illegal aliens released into the U.S. will cost American taxpayers an additional $20.4 billion annually. Anyone who has visited a hospital emergency room or a department of motor vehicles can witness the strain that immigration violators have put upon our already fragile infrastructure.
There is also little debate that our country has problems separate from immigration in need of attention. Homelessness is a growing and seemingly ubiquitous problem in our larger cities. Independent business owners saw their life investments wiped out during the COVID lockdowns. Our schools are turning out graduates who are falling behind the rest of the world in math and science. Our roads, bridges and airports are decaying. How many billions spent on dealing with our self-inflicted illegal immigration problem could have been directed at solving these and other social problems?
As invasions go, the chaos at our southern border is tailor-made for our current era of wokeness and purported social justice. In another time, reasonable people would stand up en masse in vigorous protest against this abdication of our sovereignty. Today, however, a silent majority is largely shamed into silence for fear of social isolation under accusations of xenophobic nationalism.
The indifference, if not outright contempt, toward immigration enforcement by our federal government today is staggering. In the Arizona case, a brief filed by Attorneys United for a Secure America, a project of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, illustrates this problem. The brief points out the irony that when President Theodore Roosevelt established the Roosevelt reservation in 1907, he did so to prevent smuggling from Mexico to the United States and to protect the environment from further damage that such illegal entries caused. The opposite purpose—that of facilitating illegal entries—now governs federal policy.
There is a misconception by many in the pro-illegal immigration movement that America is a golden goose that will live forever. It can easily absorb the costs of the welfare state, social security, military expenditures, pandemic, and surrendered borders among other obligations and still remain solvent. This is clearly and demonstrably false. All great societies have their breaking points and can eventually crumble.
It was once written that the sun never set on the Roman Empire. Thanks in great part to its weakened borders and the influx of Goths, Huns and other groups from the 4th through the 6th centuries, the Western Roman Empire fell.
There is a limit to how much burden America can carry, and we are approaching that limit. If we do not change course, a sustained, endless invasion will push us beyond our limit and into the abyss.
Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
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